Studio Sneak Peak

studio 1


A huge big thank-you to all our friends who attended our opening at Mendocino Art Center last weekend. We had such a great time, and the center appreciates all of our support. Makes us pause and count our blessings…

And with the beginning of the week (right after slacker art group, which was phenomenal as usual,) I was ready to plow into preparations for the open studio event up here over Memorial Day weekend. The studio was in disarray, and still not as functional as it could be, so I dug into my side of the room.

With my new-found passion for having several work stations going at once, I did a little rearranging and total de-thugging. I now have four(!) work stations where I can assemble, paint, and explore to my heart’s content.

The top photo shows where I can work on the laptop, my “explore” corner (currently art journals), my new watercolor desk, and a new assemblage area. The corner comfy chair has a small table for laptop where I can ‘you-tube’ away with inspirational techniques or hook into some music. I have reached studio Nirvana….

For a more in-depth tour of my pride and joy, come visit Anderson Valley Open Studio Tours, Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28. We will be open from 11-5 each day.

Also coming up is the opening for the Influence and Inspiration Project exhibit, a collaboration between Alexis Moyer and myself at Edgewater Gallery in Fort Bragg, Friday May 4th, with the show continuing through the month of May. We still have a couple of spots open for the Influence and Inspiration workshop on May 5th at Edgewater, so let us know if you are interested in attending, at


An Avalanche Of Stuff

headAs I write this I can hear Michael in the background entering all of the ‘junk’ purchases we made last year into QuickBooks. Each entry is accompanied by a “que-beep” as it makes its way to the list of items that were purchased and added into our tax information for Mr. Dean, our tax man,  to work his tax magic.

All that stuff….which brings me to today’s comment. We are asked at every exhibition, “Where do you get all that stuff?” So I have broken it down into the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here’s the orthodox list:

Friends and family- My darling cousin sent us a bag of drawer pulls via her husband, (my real cousin) today, via his 4 hour drive over! Now, let me see….next time can I send back some homemade jam? oops let the cat out, Debbie…

Ebay and Etsy-This is Michael’s world. He is a closet shop-o-holic. He finds so many cool little items there. He prides himself on never paying more than $7. (I know this is not always true…) But I overhear him talking a seller into free shipping all the time! oops, family secrets are out, Michael….

Yard sales-These are a desert of plastic junk these days, but sometimes….a real sweet antique shows up….like the vintage chess men Michael bought that were handed over in the (huge) copper pot that they didn’t charge for… We sold the copper pot on Ebay for enough to buy much more junk!

2nd hand stores- Like yard sales, you have to be willing to sift through some funky plastic junk, but the books can be a find…and my pal who works at one got me the metal folk-art kitty in the piece I just finished below.

Antique stores- This is the fun finds when we are on vacation. Last year my sister gave me a carry-on suitcase from her closet so we could lug all the good stuff we found while on our visit (with the cousins.)

And now the unorthodox list, or the list of shame…

The dump-We are rural, real rural. Garbage doesn’t magically disappear from our driveway. We will be spotted checking out the “metal” pile every 6 weeks or so…please, just don’t call out, “Hey! What’s up you guys?” when we are trying to go incognito….

Michael’s garage finds-Michael paints houses for the basic money we survive on. His clients are constantly telling him to ‘take what he wants,’ they just want to be rid of the stuff in the garage. Our cool headboard at the top is from someone’s garage. It was an old stair railing…

Our driveway-okay, not so inspiring , huh? But a lot of rusty nuts, bolts, and washers can be found on our ranch. These little embellishments can come in handy…

Here’s the folk art cat piece called Mrs. Sayers Magic Cats (there’s a story behind that) and our really cool headboard is at the top of this post.

Mrs. Sayers


Iron Clad Artists


Louise Nevelson and 2 works

(image photos courtesy of yahoo images)

Picture this:

You see a call for artists at a local show. The show is titled, “Changing Things Up-Discarded Objects As Art.” It sounds pretty good…soon you are getting emails from art friends forwarding the show announcement. They cheer you on, encouraging you, “This one’s for you!” So you submit your 3 photos and pay your fees. The show is all abuzz amongst the assemblage artists. When the list of accepted artists come out, 200 artists have submitted! And 135 artists have been  chosen to show… are not one of them.

Assemblage artists are a misunderstood lot. (boo-hoo) You won’t find us along the country roads in large sun hats painting impressions of light on the vineyards. We will be the ones stopping to scrounge the rusty hub cap at the turnout. We tell our stories of humanity through broken parts, forgotten. ( I was once told I lost a sale because one of the items in my assemblage was a broken piece…)

We are the ones most likely to hear the wafting whispers, “…my 5-year-old could have done that…” as polite head shakings steer them toward the lovely florals.  (yeah, well bet you wouldn’t have pulled over to get that hub cap for her…)

On the other hand, there is the camaraderie  of misfits with us. We share bits of stuff and junky items inviting pals to take what they want from our larders. We can be mysterious and intellectual, rough and raucous. We are the ones working with the grit of life. We create composition, balance and sometimes beauty using these items. And we may have a story to tell in there…

To help with the lonely times I offer some suggestions:

  • Try learning about the history of assemblage art and its major players. (It’s a short story) And it will help with that intellectual thing…
  • Next time you are at a group opening try engaging a stranger in conversation about them. It could be more interesting that hearing Matilda wax poetic over the ducks she painted in her landscape. ( Sorry, Matilda)
  • Hone your skills. Learn to manipulate your background and foreground. Pat yourself on the back when you figure out that tricky connection that fools the eye…
  • Dress outrageously at the opening. At 65 years, 5’2″, and 140 lbs., I’m tired of trying to look sophisticated at openings. Rock those bell-bottoms and head scarf like the Louise Nevelson you were meant to be! (I’ll let you know later how that one goes…)






Mosswood Market Hosts Michael in February

lipMosswood Café & Bakery is currently showing Beat Gallery Artist Michael Wilson.
Displayed in the exhibition are recent Art Assemblage and Collage masterworks.
Assemblage art is a form of structural sculpture that incorporates found and junk objects requiring the aesthetic disciplines of three dimensional abstract arts culminating in a harmony of design and purpose. It is often accompanied by the visual context of archetypal forms and cultural iconography. Assemblage Art continues to captivate viewers and allure designers nationwide, the discussion of art and meaning is alive under this amazing collection of parts and objects.

This lively compilation of recent works by these artists presents a rare chance to view a rich display of current art assemblage and how this unique form fits into our contemporary art scene. It is the renaissance of art in America today. Opening in early February and running through end of March 2014, Mosswood is located in downtown Boonville, California, 14111 Highway 128 in Mendocino County. Excellent food and beverages available.
11-3:00 pm all days of the week.  Hope you may make it in, it’s worth the trip !